A report into Child Youth and Family confirms there are staggering issues with child protection in New Zealand, but has few long term solutions to help our most vulnerable kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.
“It’s clear that CYF has seen a huge increase in demand for its services, and that has come with little additional support or resources. At the same time there has been a focus on responding to ‘incidents’ and short term solutions, rather than looking at children’s overall environments.
“The result is we now have growing numbers of children being re-victimised and a high proportion of repeat abuse. That should not be happening.
“There is no arguing that change is required. However who delivers that change, and how, is a major concern for us.
"While the expert panel has produced some positive recommendations - including plans to raise the age at which children are discharged from care – there are some very big question marks around the move to an ‘investment approach’, the use of ‘incentives’, and who will play the biggest role in providing services.
“The only incentive should be to get it right by these kids. NGOs certainly have a role to play, but profit and shareholders should never, ever trump the best interest of children.
“That also means supporting registered social workers, and improving training and capacity building, especially if there is to be greater use of professional discretion.
“Anne Tolley made the right call when she instigated this review. She must now ensure it generates solutions that deliver for our children,” Jacinda Ardern says.